We arrived early (by Mallorcan standards) for lunch at Japanese restaurant Daruma, but were not the first to bag a table for their ‘menú del mediodía’. This set lunch menu consists of three courses plus a glass of wine or water for just 16€. The doors open at 12:30h and tables filled quickly – mainly with locals – on the Monday we visited.
The set-lunch menu changes at the start of every week and offers three choices for each course, after a small complimentary appetizer from the kitchen. From the starters of miso soup, yasai tempura, and Daruma salad (featuring sliced raw fish), we chose the vegetable tempura (with a superb light batter) and the salad. We quickly discovered that portions are generous, which is probably another reason why the place is popular with fans of cuisine from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Second-course dishes were gomoku yakimeshi (a stir-fried rice dish), yaki udon (stir-fried udon noodles), or sushi combination (14 pieces). We opted for the rice dish and sushi – again sharing them.
For dessert, we had the ginger panna cotta. It was served in a glass so it was hard to tell whether it had the perfect ‘wobble’ sought by panna cotta aficionados, but it had a good flavour and texture and worked well after the savoury dishes.
The à la carte menu includes hot and cold starters, hot main-course dishes and all the variations of rolls, niguiris, homosaki, sashimi, and hand rolls that you’d expect in a good Japanese restaurant, as well as several sushi combinations.
Daruma is an attractive intimate restaurant, with three different areas in which to eat, including a mezzanine space; the décor is minimalist with some modern Japanese art on the walls. If you’re not adept at using chopsticks, don’t feel embarrassed to ask for conventional cutlery.
The restaurant also offers a take-away service, and has a stall within Palma’s Mercado Gastronómico San Juan at S’Escorxador.
Daruma is conveniently located just off the shopping street of C/ de Sant Miquel and opens Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.